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News/Ethereum Scales New Heights, Layer 2 Liftoff Emerges

Ethereum Scales New Heights, Layer 2 Liftoff Emerges

Van Thanh Le

Dec 28 2023

7 months ago4 minutes read
Cute chibi cubic-styled humanoid robot standing triumphantly on a digital peak with an Ethereum flag

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Ethereum Edges Back into Limelight After Stellar 24-Hour Surge

Following a significant surge of 8.9% in the last 24 hours, Ethereum (ETH) now sits at a comfortable $2,402, rising from the shadows of altcoins like Solana which outshined it in recent months. According to CIO of Selini Capital, Jordi Alexander, this upward movement is set to continue, pointing to the altcoin market's rally and Bitcoin enthusiast, Michael Saylor's latest acquisition as positive omens.

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Yet, despite Ethereum's year-to-date progress of 102%, it still lags behind the 951% gain enjoyed by Solana. Ethereum loyalists, however, stress the currency's architectural superiority for larger on-chain businesses, hinting at the advantageous low-fee layer-2 solutions offered by Optimism and Arbitrum. Meanwhile, Skew's options data suggests a more hesitant response from institutional traders, with their levels steady, despite Ethereum's escalating triumph.

The current tight liquidity of the year-end inevitably leads to sporadic market peaks and troughs. As a result, investors are prioritising options purchases with promising breakeven ratios. Analysts, including Michael van de Poppe, believe that although Bitcoin has been enjoying a victorious Q4 rally, Ethereum is poised to take the crypto baton and lead the market into 2024.

Vibrant digital marketplace with avatars interacting around a pulsating Ethereum network hologram.webp Availability of new projects like Arbitrum and Optimism are breathing vitality into the Ethereum ecosystem. Notably, the brains behind Ethereum are seeking ways to simplify Proof of Stake (PoS) complexities, with Vitalik Buterin proposing intriguing solutions. 

Interestingly, projects that emphasise Ethereum's scaling, such as Optimism (OP), Arbitrum (ARB), and Polygon (MATIC) have been outshining ETH. These entities are designed to combat Ethereum's costly and slow transactional speeds by employing layer-2 networks and sidechains, thus resolving Ethereum's congestion problems. 

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Of these, Arbitrum, boasting $5.77 billion in bridged assets, has enjoyed increased growth, particularly following a significant airdrop in March. The project's token, ARB, had a notable recovery, trading at $1.66 at one point, reflecting an over 20% surge in 24 hours and a 42.4% leap over the week. Further, its impressive market cap surpassed $1.6 billion, recovering from its yearly low, while its Total Value Locked (TVL) soared by 24.3% in a day, demonstrating its robust and steadily growing environment.

Arbitrum's notable positive impact on Ethereum's scalability, reducing on-chain costs, complements its decentralization. The builder community has grown by over 50% year over year, introduced more variety into its ecosystem. The historical airdrop in March, which distributed 1.27 billion ARB tokens, resulted in a spike in daily transactions. Plans for the future include forging relationships with other platforms such as Cardano and MinaProtocol in 2024.

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Vitalik Buterin's praise has rained on Arbitrum in his recent statement on Warpcast. Achieving an extraordinary landmark when it became the first stage 1 rollup in blockchain technology's grand chronicle. Buterin's commendation isn't just a mere pat on the back, but an endorsement of Arbitrum's leap towards authentic decentralization. 

A label of being a 'stage 1 rollup' doesn't come easy - it represents a situation where crucial specific benchmarks are met, such as the liberty of users to exit without external validations and a robust, near-impregnable fraud-proof architecture in place.

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Source: warpcast.com

Buterin, a stalwart of decentralization, envisions and eagerly anticipates more rollups scaling the heights to reach stage 1 by the time 2024 rolls around. His steadfast faith and advocacy lie in the essence of blockchain technology and the blockchain ecosystem, which is to achieve true decentralization.

Just as the strands of a spider web are interwoven, so are the price movements of ARB and Ethereum. The reason is no puzzle; it's simple. Arbitrum operates as Ethereum Layer 2 solution, and hence, its performance is intimately married to Ethereum's showings.

Ethereum Streamlined: Buterin Proposes Slashing Signatures to Unchoke the Network

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has proposed a groundbreaking modification to the blockchain's proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. His goal? To create a network that is more streamlined and uncomplicated. His plan involves trimming down the number of signatures that validators are mandated to generate, which will likely ease the blockchain's strain and promote more accurate load forecasts.

Currently, Ethereum boasts roughly 895,000 validators. While this considerable figure is essential for decentralization and staking participation, it has led to some technical snags. The network is swamped with around 28,000 signatures per slot, creating a prodigious load.

The resulting load from this massive signature requirement has tied the hands of the current system. Compromises have been necessitated, leading to quantum resistance, complex forking processes, and the rollout of scaling signatures via zero-knowledge proofs (SNARKs). However, the democratized participation has stumbled upon a few roadblocks, primarily the prerequisite of 32 ETH to become a validator, drawing a line in the sand for many aspiring participants.

Buterin's solution? Slashing the signatures per slot to roughly 8,192 from the current 28,000. This massive reduction could potentially streamline technical dealings, enhance quantum resistance, and leave the total slashable ETH high (around 1-2 million ETH). This slashing mechanism is aimed at fostering conscientious behavior among validators. 

Ethereum as a celestial body in space, surrounded by orbiting layer-2 solutions.webp

To this end, Buterin is considering multiple strategies, including decentralized staking pools, instituting "heavy" and "light" staking classes, and cycle-based participation with accountable committees. These approaches are part of his grander scheme of reducing digital signature loads to manageable levels, providing legroom for protocol and infrastructure developments.

A defining advantage of this proposal is the forecastability of future signature loads, a factor that could enhance ease of planning and system upgrades for developers. This isn't the first time Buterin has spoken out about the burdening of Ethereum's consensus layer; back in May, he warned about overloading it beyond primary functions like block validation and network security.

Trump Trims the Crypto Hedges: Ethereum Sales and Waning NFT Magic

Former President Donald Trump has recently been making waves in the cryptocurrency world, parting ways with a significant portion of his Ethereum (ETH) holdings. His digital wallet shows an influx of ETH royalties gleaned from non-fungible tokens (NFTs), swiftly forwarded to Coinbase. Trump divested himself of 1,075 ETH, translating cyberspace wealth into approximately $2.4 million of tangible assets.

Despite this divestiture, Trump’s cryptocurrency vault is far from empty, retaining over a million in ETH, along with $649,000 worth of Wrapped Ethereum (WETH) and a smattering of more obscure tokens such as MAGA coin, Pepecoin, and JESUS. 

Turning our focus onto Trump's NFT landscape, while his inaugural collection significantly soared in value following its launch, later collections have not mirrored this success. For instance, the "Mugshot Edition" exhibited a less enthusiastic reception, with fewer than half of the collection minted and slipping floor prices in earlier collections.

The echo chamber of the crypto-community has been reverberating with varying opinions on Trump’s Ethereum exodus. Opinions range from chastising him for not holding onto his Ethereum longer, to conjecture over a possible pivot towards competing platforms like Solana. 

Notably, these cryptocurrency sales by Trump have corresponded with his proclamation of being in a financial crunch, with legal fees allegedly north of $100 million, shadowing his involvement in various ongoing legal battles.

The intricate dissection of Trump's cryptocurrency maneuvers presented here derives from a meticulous investigation by Arkham, a leading blockchain intelligence firm. The company's sleuthing abilities provide an insightful peek into the ongoing saga surrounding Trump's cryptocurrency assets and transactions.

Conclusion

Ethereum's resurgence highlights its enduring strength and adaptability. Layer-2 solutions like Arbitrum showcase its growing scalability, while Buterin's proposed signature reduction promises further optimization. Though Trump's ETH sales raise questions, the overall sentiment leans towards Ethereum's continued ascent in the crypto landscape.

FAQs

1. Why is Ethereum's price rising?

Ethereum's recent surge is attributed to the overall crypto market rally, Bitcoin's strong Q4 performance, and investor anticipation for Ethereum's future potential, fueled by layer-2 solutions like Arbitrum and Optimism.

2. What is Arbitrum and how does it benefit Ethereum?

Arbitrum is a layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum, offering faster and cheaper transactions by processing them off-chain. Its success reflects positively on Ethereum's scalability and attracts wider adoption.

3. What is Vitalik Buterin proposing for Ethereum's future?

Buterin proposes reducing the number of signatures validators need to generate, aiming to streamline the network, improve load forecasting, and enhance quantum resistance. This could pave the way for smoother scaling and development.

4. Why is Donald Trump selling his Ethereum?

Trump's Ethereum sales could be motivated by his reported financial difficulties and legal fees. While some speculate on a shift towards other platforms, his remaining significant ETH holdings suggest continued belief in its potential.

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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